Rhetorical Analysis Of Practical Ethics

1127 words - 5 pages

2Ouyang1OuyangTung-Tung OuyangDr CrockettEnglish 1A MW 12:30-1:4529th April 2013Rhetorical Analysis of Practical EthicsIn Peter Singer's Practical Ethics, Singer explains basic ethical concepts, then discusses practical issues such as, killing animals, induced abortion, gap of wealth, environmental issues, and so on. In chapter eight, "Rich and Poor", Singer's main idea is to show his target audience, whose income can fulfill more than one's needs (not necessarily be rich), the severe disparity between rich and poor, and encourages us to donate as much as we can to help those in need. Singer's words are convincing thanks to his strong rhetorical strategies such as, facts and statistics based on his research, making concessions to almost every objection, and his logical elaboration.Singer uses facts and statistics to support his statements and arouse his target readers' sympathy. In Singer's book, he does not use a single example of poor children or their bad living conditions to draw people's attention and sympathy. In fact, Singer is very practical and logical, and does not play on the emotions of his readers to persuade them. He quotes facts and statistics from reliable institutes or authorities such as, UNICEF, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. According to UNICEF, 8.8 million children under the age of five died from avoidable, poverty-related causes in 2008. Imagine a football stadium filled with 24,000 children dying needlessly every day (192). Although Singer does not use emotional wording, the numbers are alarming enough to arouse reader sympathy. He not only cites statistics, but also uses his own words to elaborate on them. Because the reader may not have a good sense of measurement, Singer uses the analogy of a football stadium filled with children so that his readers can understand the statistic. The audience may think that 24,000 is a large number, but how large is it? Visualize a football stadium filled with children and you may have a clear picture in your head. Singer's word choice is very appropriate. The word 'avoidable' suggests to readers that they could actually make an effort to prevent these things from happening. Singer allows us believe that our individual choices can change the lives of poor kids. Moreover, 'avoidable' implies that poor kids should not have to die. If we could pay more attention to them and donate as much as we can to help them, they would not have to die. Singer contends that if we do not donate, and instead spend our money on luxuries, we are indirectly murdering poor kids. According to Singer, this is unethical.Another important strategy is that Singer covers most of his target readers' objections. He first makes concessions, then uses stronger arguments to contradict them. For instance, in this chapter, Singer attempts to point out that it is wrong for the rich to spend a lot of money on extravagances, because they do not donate to the poor who struggle with hunger. One of...

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